Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The House on Mill Street - A Short Story

My short horror story "The House on Mill Street" was published to Kindle and Kobo by December House last week. So far the response has been fantastic, with two 5 star reviews on Amazon and fantastic sales. Do have a look and don't forget you don't need a Kindle to read it.

The House on Mill Street
There is madness running through it, infecting the bricks, the beams, the joists. A century’s worth of unlucky inhabitants have fallen prey, one by one, to an ancient evil that lurks high up in the abandoned attic. 
But now the house has a new owner, one with plans and schemes and twisted intentions. The unusual Miles is planning a very special afternoon. He is expecting his lady love, and the house is the perfect place for their date. 
As the hours unfold, it seems like Miles is good company for the evil that hid upstairs for a hundred years. But are they alone? And are the other rooms as empty as they seem?
The house on Mill Street is cursed...but is it also haunted?

Buy it now:
Amazon UK:  http://amzn.to/NW9i8i
Amazon US:  http://amzn.to/OhlYsC

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Why Celebrities Matter Too

In amongst the chatter and hum generated by this week’s big scandal, a disturbing idea has been nestling. 

“When it was just celebrities, no-one really had much sympathy,” commented the newsreaders, as they tracked the phone-hacking scandal’s journey from tiny acorn to giant oak. 

“Of course, no-one really cares about celebrities who get paid £5m a film,” posited the panel on Newsnight, as they analysed the fallout from the discovery that people other than the fabulously beautiful and wealthy had been hacked.

“Now it’s not just celebrities but real people involved I care far more,” mused the twitterati, “in fact, now I can muster some real moral outrage.”

As a nation, when we discovered what the News of the World had been up to regarding, not just Milly Dowler, but all the other poor victims of senseless tragedy, we drew in a collective horrified breath.  And rightly so.  These people had had their privacy violated in a most dreadful way.  How could this happen, we asked ourselves.  How could it have been considered appropriate, even for a second, to listen in on the private messages of a murdered teen or a grieving family, just for the sake of getting the scoop?  When did journalists become so callous, so evil?  How did we get here? 

The answer is, we got here by degrees, and it started with our disturbing idea that celebrities are somehow not real human beings. 

No-one cared about this story when it was just the phones of the rich and famous.  Then ‘real people’ got involved and suddenly it’s a scandal that has our political leaders scrambling around to get involved in the mudslinging, suddenly we feel strongly enough to bully companies into withdrawing their advertising, suddenly it’s bad enough that a paper that ran for 160 years is closed down, virtually overnight.  Suddenly.  Shouldn’t our moral outrage have started a little earlier? 

Hacking into someone’s private phone and listening in on their messages is an appalling breach of privacy.  Why was it not that big a deal when the people it was happening to were rich and successful?  The idea that, because a person is vastly more wealthy than we are, they will not feel the same sense of violation and betrayal that we would, or that they would, but it wouldn’t matter because they’re so rich so who cares what they think anyway, is as hideous in its own way as the actions of the phone hackers.  What gives us the right to de-humanise someone just because they have more than we have? 

Celebrities are real people.  We may not like them, and we may not like the rewards they get for their efforts compared to the rewards we get for ours, but they haven’t made a deal with the devil.  They haven’t stood under a blasted oak at a crossroads at midnight and signed away their souls in return for getting to fulfill their creative potential.  For years now we’ve allowed tabloid journalists to bamboozle us with the idea that because actors and musicians are in the public eye, they’re ‘asking for it’, that any intrusion into their lives is justified because they dare to step into the spotlight of fame.  It’s a fallacy, one we’ve believed for far too long.  No-one deserves to have their private conversations eavesdropped on, or to have the details of their sexual and romantic relationships spilled to a red-top, or to have their children followed to school and back for the sake of a picture, or to be harried and pressured and scrutinised and treated like an entertaining pet.  Some people will do anything to be famous, but most truly famous people are simply extremely talented at their jobs.  It’s hardly something to be punished for, but punish them we do.  And how easy, then, for the journos to take that extra step, to lose sight of who they’re targeting.  If Hugh Grant’s feelings don’t count then, really, do anybody’s, when there’s a story at stake?  If a reporter, or a private detective, is prepared to treat one human being in that way, should we really be surprised that they can just as easily do it to another?

So, we may well ask ourselves how we arrived at this point, this week.  It was clearly a journey we never intended to go on, but we took the first step when we started separating out little groups of people in society we felt we didn’t need to care about.  Because once we stop caring about someone just because they’re rich, or famous, or successful, it’s a short road to not caring about anyone. 

Sunday, 3 July 2011

In which I interview Johann Hari...

Johann Hari is a hard man to read, his body language a blank.  He may as well be a computer screen.  The room is hot, despite me opening a window.  I ask him if he's comfortable, but he doesn't reply.  I wonder if he's tense.  He's had a difficult week, being accused of everything from plagiarism to dishonesty to stupidity, after it emerged that many of his interviews for the Independent newspaper were a less than accurate transcript of the encounter.

I open by directly addressing the issue.  The charge of plagiariasm?  "This accusation is totally false." he says firmly.  False?  Really?  Quotes from the interviewees' writings presented as verbatim speech?  Hari is clear in his refutation.  "I have sometimes substituted a passage they have written or said more clearly elsewhere on the same subject for what they said to me so the reader understands their point as clearly as possible. The quotes are always accurate representations of their words, inserted into the interview at the point where they made substantively the same argument using similar but less clear language."  I open my mouth to press him further but he jumps in, ahead of me.  "This does not fit any definition of plagiarism. Plagiarism is presenting somebody else’s intellectual work as your own – whereas I have always accurately attributed the ideas of (say) Gideon Levy to Gideon Levy."

So, not plagiarism then, but what of dishonesty?  Hari is still giving little away.  His mouth is a straight line.  His eyes, behind thin-rimmed spectacles, gaze at me unblinking.  His head remains tilted to one side as we talk.  It's like talking to a still photograph, a press shot.  The room is still hot, despite the slight breeze from the window.  I take my cardigan off then put it back on again.  In the corner of the room Truman Capote flicks irritably through a copy of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.  I ask Hari about the ethics, then, of his "attributions".  He appears to feel he's doing his subjects a favour.  "I only ever substituted clearer expressions of the same sentiment, so the reader knew what the subject thinks in the most comprehensible possible words."  Gideon Levy, one of Hari's subjects, has, indeed, stood by him, saying the interview was “a totally accurate representation of my thoughts and words.”  In fact, Gideon Levy walks in just as we touch on this.  "In my nearly ten years of interviewing none of my interviewees have, to my knowledge, ever said they were misquoted." Hari says, with a slight touch of petulance.

Levy would appear to agree.  "I stand behind everything that was published in the interview.  It was a totally accurate representation of my thoughts and words."
Hari's tone becomes pointed.  "These are his words." he says, indicating Levy, who nods and repeats "It was a totally accurate representation of my thoughts and words."  I open my mouth to ask him what he feels about the wider implications of Hari's behaviour, but again I'm forestalled.  "A totally accurate representation of my thoughts and words." he says once again, before leaving via the inflatable chute.

Hari seems satisfied with this, but I have to admit I'm not, and neither is Elvis.  He fixes Hari with a ten-yard Tennessee stare.  "You ain't nothing but a hound dog." he mutters.  It's impossible to tell it Hari is affected by this.  I know I would be.  I want to ask Hari what he feels about the awards he's won for journalism, and whether he feels that an interview is actually a compact between two people, a compact he's betrayed.

I raise the point but he returns to his earlier theme.  "I stress: I have only ever done this where the interviewee was making the same or similar point to me in the interview that they had already made more clearly in print. Where I described their body language, for example, I was describing their body language as they made the same point that I was quoting – I was simply using the clearer words from their writing so the reader understood the point best."  It's as though he's avoiding the issue.  The heat rises, and I open a second window.  The sound from the 1904 St Louis World's Fair comes flooding in, a riot of carousel melodies and carnival cries, but it can't be helped.  We need the air.

I get the feeling Hari isn't keen to talk about his awards, or face the fact that he made an executive decision to alter what his subjects represented to him in good faith, for the sake of his own idea about what constitutes clarity.  Is he willing to make any kind of apology for this, at least?  "If (for example) a person doesn’t speak very good English, or is simply unclear, it may be better to quote their slightly broken or garbled English than to quote their more precise written work, and let that speak for itself."  Is that a no, then?  "It depends on whether you prefer the intellectual accuracy of describing their ideas in their most considered words, or the reportorial accuracy of describing their ideas in the words they used on that particular afternoon."  Can he see how some people might find that problematic?  "Since my interviews are long intellectual profiles, not ones where I’m trying to ferret out a scoop or exclusive, I have, in the past, prioritized the former. That was, on reflection, a mistake, because it wasn’t clear to the reader."  Capote glances up momentarily, and Elvis makes a 'pfft' sound. 

I sense there isn't much else he's willing to say.  I know he feels that he's simply presented a truth, the subject's ideas in their purest form.  But isn't he missing a vital point?  Isn't the interview, I ask, a skill in itself, more than just the recitation of the subject's main soundbites? Doesn't it require an ability to draw the subject down unexplored avenues, somewhere beyond their own previously expressed ideas?  Isn't it the job of the interviewer to create an atmosphere, a conversation, in which the subject feels free to express themselves?  And isn't it the job of the interviewer to keep faith with their readers by representing that conversation accurately, however irritating that may be to their sense of clarity or style, however garbled or disjointed that may make the piece?  Finally, isn't it a lie to pretend you have the gift of eliciting clear, concise statements from people when you have no greater ability to do this than anyone else?

Hari says nothing to this.  Perhaps he doesn't want to get into it.  Perhaps he simply doesn't have an answer.  Or perhaps he's distracted by Marilyn, who's come in from the fair to get away from Jack the Ripper and drink her lemonade in peace.

Who knows?  The interview is over and Hari is gone, as quietly as he came.  Elvis shakes his head sadly.  The afternoon heat is starting to fade, replaced by the first chill of evening.  I close the window.  Marilyn tells me she's seen a man who claims he can read minds.  Capote snorts and she pouts at him.  I look through the glass at the fair, thinking about Hari, sacrificing one truth for another.  Outside, the fair continues, will continue into the night, light glittering on a thousand stalls and exhibits, gaudy and demanding.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Incomprehensible?: Why my mother-in-law is not a jailbird.

Just before Christmas my mother-in-law took voluntary redundancy from her old company and launched herself onto the job market.  At the beginning of June she got a new job doing something complicated in the financial sector.  "Ooh" I said.  "I know" she said.  

But to work in the financial sector you have to have CLEARANCE.  CLEARANCE is something I will never have.  "Ooh" I said, again.  "Precisely" she said.  My mother-in-law's CLEARANCE comes courtesy of an outside company, who work round the clock making sure every new financial sector bod is good to go.  She went to get her CLEARANCE sorted and found herself in a room with a lady who shuffled papers and looked fretful.

"So...you didn't sign on at all during your period of unemployment?" the lady queried, with knitted brow.
"Um....why didn't you do that?"
"I had my redundancy money.  I didn't need to."
The brow knitted further.
"But you could have got money to keep you going.  Free money.  From the government."
"I know, but I had my redundancy pay-out for that."
"But...you could have got your interview travel expenses paid for."
"I didn't need to get them paid for."
"Yes, but...it's free money, though."
My mother-in-law wondered if there was a different way of saying 'I didn't need to, though'.  She grimaced apologetically and gave a little shrug.  The CLEARANCE lady's brow tied itself into a knot.
"The thing is," she said, "the thing is, though, if you didn't sign on, how can we tell you weren't in jail during that time?"

And there we have it.  This woman, on encountering my clearly middle-class, clearly comfortably off, well-dressed, well-spoken mother-in-law, found it more believable, more comprehensible, that she should have spent the past five months in jail, rather than having chosen not to take government money she didn't feel she needed. 

Every day on my walk with Milly we go past Shipston House, which is the old workhouse.  The Victorians were a good bunch overall.  They embarked on huge public improvement programmes, spent a vast amount on charity, and dedicated much of their time and energy to making Britain a better place to be.  One of the big conundrums that kept them up at night was the issue of the workhouse, and how to run it: make it too harsh a place to be and you were in danger of treating people like animals, but make it too agreeable and you ran the risk of having people choose to live in the workhouse rather than try to earn their own living. 

We still have the same problem today.  Benefits should be available, freely available, to those who truly need them.  But they don't constitute "free money".  Over the past thirteen years Labour have created such a culture of hand outs that anyone not shoving their paw into the pot is actually viewed with suspicion.  It's no longer a question of need.  It's not even about entitlement.  It's about greed.  The old capitalist devil has become a socialist nightmare, thousands of open mouths all shrieking "gimme, gimme, gimme!"

The conversation obviously didn't end there.  My mother-in-law attempted to prove she wasn't a jailbird by suggesting she got the recruitment agencies who'd been job searching on her behalf to testify to her lack of incarceration during the past five months.  The CLEARANCE lady sighed and folded her hands into something neat and frightening.

"Ahh," she said.  "Well, yes, I suppose you could do that.  But isn't there anyone else who could speak for you?"
"Anyone else?  Like who?"
"Well, someone of standing in the community? A doctor, a lawyer?"
"We don't know any doctors or lawyers."
"Well...how about the vicar?"
"THE vicar?  We don't know any vicars.  At all."
The CLEARANCE lady unknitted her brow in order to look down her nose with maximum efficiency, and, in a laudable gambit to bring some political balance to this blogpost, threw in some old-school Tory snobbery.
"We know OUR vicar personally." she said.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Does the Modern World Understand Motherhood?

Here are some things I used to think:

1. Women with prams/pushchairs think they own the street. They should make more of an effort not to inconvenience other people.
2. Breastfeeding in public is weird and exhibitionist. I'd like to have a cup of coffee without having to look at some random stranger's tits, thank you very much.
3. Parent and child parking spaces are unfair and unnecessary.
4. People in restaurants should control their children better.

Here are some things I think now:

1. It's hard enough manoeuvring the pram as it is, without free-walking, unencumbered idiots glaring at you and failing to get out of your way.
2. Breastfeeding in public is sometimes necessary. I'd like to have a cup of coffee, thank you very much.
3. Parent and child parking spaces are a godsend.
4. People in restaurants should control their children better.

The reason for the change of heart is, I assume, obvious. Life with a baby has opened my eyes to a number of things, like how much poo I can actually stand to deal with (a lot, it turns out) and how much sleep I really need (less than I had always assumed). But the thing which really plays on my mind is how very different my perspective on life is now, compared to what it was before, and how very harsh I was in my attitudes towards people with children.

I'm not someone for whom motherhood has come as a surprise, a biological ta-daa! just as I hit thirty. I always wanted children, always planned on one day pushing the pram and suckling the hungry infant. I just wasn't going to do it like all these inexplicably self-absorbed mothers I kept encountering, whipping their breasts out whenever they felt like it, or barging down the centre of the pavement with their two-seater Bugaboos, mowing down innocent shoppers like Boudicca cutting a swathe through a Roman legion.

Then I had Milly and everything changed. Breastfeeding in public became a necessity if I wanted to, you know, actually LEAVE the house, and after every session trying to get some necessary shopping done in town I'd always breathe a sigh of relief as soon as I reached the safety of the back streets, where I could push the pram along without an unending soundtrack of I'm sorries and excuse mes, punctuated by the constant clatter of me bumping into things. These mothers weren't self-absorbed and inconsiderate, they were just trying to get through the day. I'd been the self-absorbed one, putting my own free-walking, unencumbered convenience ahead of that of those who needed to cater for their children's needs as well as their own.

I know I'm not alone in this. At my NCT classes we were all concerned about breastfeeding in public, because we didn't want to freak people out as we, ourselves, were freaked out by it. And I've had many a discussion prior to getting pregnant about the way some mothers act like they should get special treatment just because they've got kids.

So now I can see how bogus that attitude was, my question is: how are we getting it so wrong?

How have we drifted so far away from the idea of hearth and home, amongst all our lattes and broadband providers, and movie channels, that we've become so uneducated about what being a mother actually involves? Why do we look at what these women have to do and see nothing but an affront to our modern, super-convenient lives? Why is "God, the place was full of bloody kids, what a nightmare" such a constant refrain among our litany of lifestyle complaints?

Most people don't have children 'til their thirties, and many spend most of their twenties trying to avoid them. "I don't do children" is said with confidence, as though a complete lack of understanding of how to approach a child or a baby is something to be proud of, a badge of honour that proves the wearer is cool and, importantly, young. "OMG, all they talked about were their kids!" is another cry, followed by "it's like, stop trying to convince me to have one, is that all you can talk about!?".

I don't know when it started. Maybe it was when Rachel from Friends had a baby with no discernible change to her lifestyle, figure, and attitude, except for the occasional half-hearted wave of the hand towards a baby monitor. Maybe it was already happening, as women who chose to put off having children for the sake of their careers also chose to demonise those left in the home as lazy, outdated traitors to the feminist cause, while angry homemakers responded by branding their sisters in the workplace as selfish and shallow.

I don't know how this situation can be remedied. There are two separate worlds trying to exist in the same space, each with little interest, it seems, in the needs and concerns of the other. We need to bring motherhood, and family, and home back to the centre of society, but how? How do we create a world in which the public needs of the mother are not only understood, but accepted and celebrated? And how do we do it without undoing every social advance society's made since the first suffragette thought 'You know what? I reckon there's more to life than this whole staying-at-home-and-having-kids thing. I wonder if anyone else feels the same way?'.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Some thoughts on money

Milly is asleep and I, unusually, am not, so I'm writing this and it's about money.

I'm having a long-term, on-off debate with Annikki about whether money is worthy of desire. She holds the firm opinion that it is not. She has known, she says, several properly wealthy people, and their money hasn't made them happy in the slightest. She would like everyone to live in identical houses, so long as she is allowed to paint hers a different colour. She feels that none of the things that really matter in life can be bought, so why waste time and energy scampering and drooling after cash?

Obviously, I disagree.

I don't mean obviously I disagree because her views are ludicrous, (they aren't) or obviously I disagree because I'm middle class and we're all money-grabbing social climbers, mainlining aspiration like it's heroin, (we're not) and I don't mean obviously I disagree because I'm a Tory and we like to lick money (mmm, tasty money). I disagree, obviously, because I wouldn't be sitting here at half eight in the morning writing this post instead of snoozing with my daughter or re-reading The Jane Austen Book Club if I didn't think there was a strong and woefully underused argument for the other point of view.

And it is woefully underused, because to admit to wanting more money, lots more money, in your life is to draw, at least, raised eyebrows from your crowd, and, at worst, to label yourself as a materialistic cash-junkie with no sense of what's genuinely important in life. "She wants to be rich?" people mutter to themselves, "How SHALLOW!" I protest that I'm not shallow, I just think I'd be better off being, well, better off. "She thinks money will bring her happiness!" they then exclaim, quietly and with a touch of smug. "How DELUDED."

Well, I'm neither shallow nor deluded. I just want to be rich. There, I said it, bold-faced and brazen. Judge me if you dare. I want to have a choice of lovely houses to buy from, with many large rooms and a huge garden for Milly to run about in, rather than gloomily checking Rightmove every day to see if something has miraculously appeared in the £170-180,000 price bracket that has more than 2 square feet of garden and a living room you can actually fit a sofa into. I want to go into a car showroom and choose a nice little three-door for Milly and I to tootle about in, instead of looking on Autotrader for sixth-hand old bangers that actually we can't afford anyway. I want to cook with wonderful ingredients, and go to the opera and the ballet, and do Open University courses, and take foreign holidays staying in luxury hotels with spas I can afford to use. I want to buy Simon tailored suits for his birthday and have the option, the OPTION, of sending Milly to private school when she's older. I think these things would make me happy.

It's too easy, too tempting to diss wealth. Of course there are unhappy rich people. There are even people who appear to be palpably suffering for being rich. On the TV last night I saw a clip of a reality show about super-wealthy American teens in which a sixteen year old girl was presented with her $67,000 Lexus at what was, apparently, the wrong moment. She threw the biggest strop I've ever seen, swore at her mother, shrieked "I can't believe you! You've ruined everything! The party's off!" and stormed out in floods of tears. Clearly unfettered access to the best of everything was taking a heavy toll on this child's soul. But it needn't have been like that. The girl's money gives her access to education, travel, people, places; it's not money's fault her parents are jackasses who don't know how to say no. It's also not money's fault if people have bad marriages, or are weak or mean or distant parents.

It's a con to blame money. It makes you think you'd be crazy to want it, which is useful if you're never likely to get it. It makes you think you're breaking free of the class system by rejecting the very thing that puts some people at the top and others at the bottom. But that's the biggest con of all. Have you ever seen any of those films or TV shows where an 'ordinary' family suddenly come into ooodles of money? They live their lives, and they squabble, and bitch, and bicker, then the cash appears like magic and for a while there's a wet dream of conspicuous consumption and everyone has what they always wanted. But wait, what's this? Cracks start to appear, the bickering starts up again, this time over who crashed the Audi in the martini glass-shaped swimming pool. The family starts to implode as integrity becomes corrupted and values disappear. All looks lost until the money somehow vanishes as easily as it arrived. "We were better off all along!" the family cry, tears of enlightened joy in their eyes. "Money made us miserable!".

Bullshit! Money didn't make them miserable, it was what they did with it. You never see people in these dramas using their sudden wealth to access the arts or education, to broaden their horizons, you just see them going crazy for gold-plated Ferraris, like apes in a banana shop. That's because a drama about a family who suddenly get money and become happier, better people for it doesn't make for much of a story. And because the real message of these things is that you, Mr and Mrs Poor Person, you can't handle money. You don't know what to do with it, so it drives you crazy. So back you go, back to where you belong, lesson learnt. Breaking free of the class system, my arse. Like I said, it's the biggest con of all.

So I say hurrah for wealth. It may make stupid people stupider and mean people meaner, but poverty doesn't have such a great track record in that department either. There's nothing shallow about wanting to have better, nor is it deluded to suppose that having it will increase my already quite substantial enjoyment of life. Aspiration is a beautiful thing, so let us aspire to have more and to be more. Come stargazers, come climbers, come dreamers, come doers, come builders of ladders and stairways and rockets. Come, my friends. Onwards and upwards.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Henri's Amazing Roast Chicken Pie Recipe

This isn't meant to be a food or cooking blog, but various people have asked me for the recipe for this so here it is:

1. Have yourself a delicious roast chicken. Oh, how tasty it is. But wait! What's that? There's some left you say?
2. Take all the chicken off the bone. Reserve any leftover gravy. THERE! The first two tasks are done. You may as well go away and do something else now. The pie is for another day.
3. Right, it's now the next day. You are thinking of how to make your pie. Mmm, you think, chicken pie. Firstly, you need to chop some BACON into lardons and fry them up. Also chop a few cloves of GARLIC but hold off on adding them yet, you mad keen chef, you!
4. When your bacon is looking done then add the chicken which - remember? - you took off the bone yesterday, and hopefully shredded or at least sort of did that rough chopping thing to. Fry all this up together. Did I need to tell you to put some oil in the pan first? Hopefully not. If that isn't automatic then you may well struggle with the rest of this recipe involving, as it does, techniques that require you to have cooked at least one thing before in your entire life. What I'm saying is there's a certain degree of skill assumed here on your part. Don't let me down, now.
5. Anyway, now is a good time to add your garlic and some sliced PORTABELLO MUSHROOMS. You may well have sliced them the same time you sliced the garlic. If not, I don't care. I'm not a chef. Do it your own way. Fry all this up with a little salt and pepper.
6. It's now time to add all the ingredients that make this pie so popular with both friends and family. In no particular order, add CAPERS, THE JUICE OF ONE LEMON, A CHICKEN STOCKPOT THINGY, THE LEFTOVER GRAVY, DOUBLE CREAM, HALF A BOTTLE OF WHITE WINE (or a half bottle, like I said, I'm not bothered, it's your dinner), and SOME DRIED THYME OR FRESH THYME IF YOU HAVE IT THOUGH NO-ONE EVER DOES.
7. Simmer and stir, simmer and stir. It should be pretty thick but if not then reduce it or add a bit of arrow root.
8. Put your delicious mixture in an oven-friendly dish. Top with a sheet of JUS ROLL PUFF PASTRY, glaze it with whatever you use to glaze things in your house, and pop in the oven for an amount of time at a temperature.
9. Serve and enjoy! (Note I haven't said to remove from the oven before serving. This is because, as I said, I'm assuming that you have a basic knowledge of what a kitchen does, and that you're not a moron. If you are, then you're going to spend quite a long time in front of your oven, your confused gaze shifting from the recipe to the burny-foody-hot-box and back again before abandoning the entire enterprise and slinking sadly off the fridge to see if you have any cheese, which you will gnaw directly off the block like the mouse you barely outclass. But I'm sure YOU will be fine. Enjoy your pie! (Or your cheese, you numbnut).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone